Jordy Smith Finishes Third at WSL Championship Tour Opener in Australia

COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Monday, April 8, 2019) – Today, Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Caroline Marks (USA) won the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, the opening stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The final day’s action took place at Duranbah Beach, the event’s backup site, in 0.6 – 1.2 metre waves to determine the first winners of the season.

South Africa’s Jordy Smith (Durban) finished third overall to jumpstart his 2019 world title campaign and possible qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games. Smith, the biggest surfer on the CT, struggled to post high scoring rides in the early rounds but improved as the event progressed.

Jordy Smith (Durban) takes to the air on his way to third place in the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, the opening event of the 2019 WSL Championship Tour, which ended at Duranbah Beach in Australia on Monday
– Photo: WSL / Dunbar

The Durbanite’s semi-final clash with eventual winner Ferreira was a see-saw duel in which the lead change hands several times as the two protagonists took to the air with futuristic manoeuvres in the small but clean beach-break waves. Despite recording the single highest score of the clash – an excellent 8.67 out of 10 for a high-flying 360 degree rotation, Smith was overtaken by the Brazilian who racked up a heat total of 15.33 out of 20 (8.0 + 7.33) to clinch his place in the final.

Having ended the 2018 season at No. 5 on the Jeep Rankings, Smith now heads for the second event on the schedule, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach near Melbourne next week, buoyed by an opening result that is a big improvement on the13th place he earned on the Gold Coast last year.

The 2019 CT is also the first opportunity for the world’s best surfers to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where surfing will make its Olympic debut. The Championship Tour rankings at the end of this season will determine 18 of the 40 available places (10 men and 8 women). After today’s results, the surfers are one step closer to both qualifying for the Olympics and winning the prestigious WSL World Title.

In 2018, Ferreira proved himself to be one of the most exciting surfers, winning three CT events and finishing the year in fourth place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Today, the 24-year-old got his World Title campaign off to a perfect start with a come-from-behind victory over Californian Kolohe Andino (USA). Ferreira will now sport the Jeep Leader Jersey and focus his attention to Stop No. 2 of 11 on the men’s CT.

“Winning this event at the start of the year is unbelievable, ” Ferreira said. “I knew it would be so hard to beat Kolohe (Andino). I feel really lucky to have beaten him and especially in waves like this. The support on the beach is so unreal. I love all of the Brazilians on the beach. They are incredible cheering us all on. I’m excited to be in the Jeep Leader Jersey again, but it is a long year and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself.”

The innovative surfer posted some of the event’s highest scores in the earlier rounds, while also winning the Red Bull Airborne Gold Coast at the start of the waiting period. 

17-year-old Marks earned her career-first event win today when she defeated former three-time women’s world champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the final. Marks takes the early lead on the World Rankings and with only one year on the CT to her name, the young competitor is off to a phenomenal start in her career, already reaching the very top to set the tone for the year ahead.

“I’m really emotional right now,” Marks said. “I can’t believe it. I’m speechless. It’s incredible to be a part of this sport. I just want to thank everyone at WSL, I’m so grateful. It’s so amazing to be a part of women’s surfing. Carissa (Moore) has always been my hero and she still is. To have my first win over her is incredible. This has been the best event and best week of my life. There’s still a lot of work to do for the rest of the year, but I’m definitely going to enjoy this moment.”

In addition to the year’s first elite surfing event, today marked the first CT event to award equal prize money to the female and male competitors following WSL’s commitment in September last year. Each stop on the Championship Tour, in 2019 and beyond, will award equal prize money and continue to host the Rising Tides – WSL Girls Program, the beachside engagement program aimed to inspire the next generation of young girls to take to the surf.

Men’s World Champions Fall Short in Opening Event

 After almost a decade of competing on the WSL Championship Tour, two-time WSL Champion John John Florence (HAW) has only made the semi-finals twice at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, once in 2017 and again today, when he was stopped by Andino this morning. Florence recently returned to full-time competition after a sidelining knee injury and now sits in third on the Jeep Leaderboard heading into the next event.

Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) was eliminated by Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the quarter-finals. Medina was a standout at D-Bah, posting the highest heat total of the entire event during the earlier rounds. However, Medina was unable to find two decent scores against Smith and finished the event in equal 5th place meaning he will head to Bells without the Jeep Leader Jersey.

Kelly Slater (USA), the 11-time world champion who has missed most of the events in the past 18 months while recovering from an ankle injury incurred in Jeffreys Bay in 2017, returned fit and focussed for another tilt at an unprecedented 12th world title. The 45-year-old continues to match the feats of surfers less than half his age at the world’s most challenging venues but was eliminated early in the 0.5 to 1 metre beach break waves, finishing equal 33rd at Duranbah.

2019 WSL Championship Tour will now head to Stop No. 2, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach. The event window will open on April 17 and run through April 27, 2019. The event will be broadcast LIVE on and Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For highlights from the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, please visit 

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Final Results:

1 – Caroline Marks (USA) 13.83
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.67 

Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Semi-final Results:

SF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.67 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.50  
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.90 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.87

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final Results:

1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.57
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.43

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Semi-final Results:

SF 1: Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.23 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 8.96
SF 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.33 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.67

Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarter-final Results:

QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 11.00 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.56
QF 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.33 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.47 
QF 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.17 DEF. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.23 
QF 4: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.07 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.77

2019 WSL Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):

  1. Caroline Marks (USA) 10,000 points
  2. Carissa Moore (HAW) 7,800 points
  3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,085 points
  4. Malia Manuel (HAW) 6,085 points
  5. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 4,745 points
  6. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 4,745 points
  7. Johanne Defay (FRA) 4,745 points
  8. Sage Erickson (USA) 4,745 points

2019 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):

  1. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10,000 points
  2. Kolohe Andino (USA) 7,800 point
  3. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6,085 point
  4. John John Florence (HAW) 6,085 points
  5. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4,745 points
  6. Conner Coffin (USA) 4,745 points
  7. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 4,745
  8. Seth Moniz (HAW) 4,745 points


For more information, please visit

Empowering the kids to clean up

Recycling is at last being practiced with greater enthusiasm by local residents who seem to be adopting a positive recycling mindset. Possibly this is due in part to the Kouga municipality making it a lot easier to recycle by creating the recycling drop-off facility adjacent the fire station but also possibly an awareness of peril our planet faces if we continue to ignore the damage we are doing to Mother Earth. This resource proved a huge success over the holiday season and by keeping it in place ever since, has certainly motivated more people to be aware of the daily garbage mix and how much of it is in fact recyclable.

There is still no official notice that this drop-off point will become a permanent fixture but listening to Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks address Grade-7 pupils at Sea Vista Primary School on Thursday morning, one would be confident it will have his support if his utterances at an event at our Sea Vista Primary School on Thursday is an indication of his commitment to recycling and indeed litter in general.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks

The Kouga municipality, led and motivated by Mayor Hendricks, is embarking on a project to instill a recycling and cleanliness mentality among the children of the Kouga region by holding a series of events at schools to emphasize the importance of not only recycling but in the process, reducing litter and general decay that invades so many poorer informal settlements and townships. 

Selecting the school seniors, Grade-7 pupils as his audience, Hendricks gave a spoke to the children on the importance of looking after their environment, of picking up litter not stepping over it and of setting an example to others including their parents and adults in general by being the example.  The mayor certainly shows that his 20 plus years in teaching is a benefit when talking to kids for he certainly relates to the youngsters. His 20 minute presentation kept the kids enthralled and he certainly has a wonderful turn of humour to that had not only the kids attention but those adults who were present as well.

As he wrapped up his presentation he motivated stressing their importance at school being the oldest and the need for them to set an example to the other younger children. “You are not future leaders, you are leaders now and you must lead by example. You will champion our program.”

The mayor then asked them to stand and re hold up their right hands and place their left hands over their hearts and repeat after him.

“I, (their name) solemnly promise to be an ambassador for KM to act in an honourable way and to keep my environment clean and to be an example to others I promise and I will do my duty to the best of my ability to this I promise. You are now ambassadors and we will now refer to you as ‘Honourable (name) ‘. “

Sea Vista Grade-7 pupils pledge to keep it clean!

Whilst this project is very honourable and must be supported, and hopefully will be supported, let us not discard the efforts of Rotary to instill similar habits in the kids of Sea Vista, not just the Grade-7’s. Rotary ran an initiative rewarding those who collected recyclables by allowing them to swop to the value of their collections all sorts of product from toothpaste to exercise books, even a bicycle in one case. There is no doubt this endeavor was hugely popular and well supported by the kids but sadly vandalism put a halt to Rotary’s efforts. It would thus be wonderful if maybe the municipality could go some way to securing a facility so that Rotary, and in time the community itself, could successfully run a recycling facility specifically for ‘China Town’ and the formal township itself.

So much good is happening in Sea Vista at present and it so important that we in Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay do all we can to not only support the efforts of those trying to make a difference, but also contribute to show exby example by keeping our town clean and free of recyclable, especially plastic that is so choking our oceans. No more sweet wrappers used water bottles out the window.  or discarding you in the

End Note:

If you ever have need to visit Sea Priomary School make a point of noticing how spotless it is. You will not see a sweet wrapper or discarded cool drink on the property. It is testament to Principal Coenraad and his staff how they have already instilled the need for cleanliness in the school that must now be extended to the community as a whole..





Kouga Dam levels continue to fall

Hankey, Patensie water quotas up for review

The communities of Hankey and Patensie are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the review of their annual water allocation by the national Department of Water and Sanitation.

Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the water allocation to the towns was drastically cut by the national Department in 2018 due to the prolonged drought.

“The Kouga Dam, from which water is extracted for Hankey and Patensie, belongs to the national Department and they determine how much water may be taken from the dam for these towns,” he explained.

” Despite the dam level increasing significantly towards the end of last year, the national Department refused to increase the quota before they could conduct their annual review in June.”

He said the municipality had been gathering information to support its application that the water quota for Hankey and Patensie be increased.

“We believe the Department has been basing its allocation on outdated information. The population of the towns has grown considerably since the quotas were first calculated and this must be considered going forward to ensure these communities are treated fairly when the review is done.

“Water rationing has had a significant impact on the lives of these communities and must be brought to an end.”

He said the municipality had also prioritised drilling and connecting boreholes to the existing water supply for these communities.

“We want to break Hankey and Patensie’s dependency on the Kouga Dam so that, even if the national Department refuses to lift its restrictions, the municipality will be able to increase and normalise the water supply to these towns.”

While water restrictions remain in place for all Kouga towns, only Hankey and Patensie are affected by water rationing due to their dependence on the Kouga Dam.


In spite of the good rains we must still make every effort to save water. Restrictions still apply throughout the Kouga municipality and in spite of the good recent rains in St Francis, our main dam, Kouga Dam, continues to fall. We are in our dry period now with little rain expected until the rainy season so it is like Kouga Dam will continue to fall.